Self-sufficiency - how much do you already know and...
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  1. #1
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    Question Self-sufficiency - how much do you already know and...

    What do you still need to learn to be has self sufficient as possible.

    ~we do all our own renovations
    ~dh can fix just about anything
    ~I knit
    ~sew
    ~quilt
    ~we garden
    ~I do canning and preserve
    ~we have some fruit trees
    ~although dh doesn't hunt, he can cut meat up with no problem
    ~we fish
    ~I cook from scratch
    ~we grind our own grain (although the grain is purchased from a health food store)
    ~I bake my own bread

    We still need or would like to learn:
    ~dh needs to learn to fix a car and change the oil. He isn't comfortable doing that
    ~I need to learn to make soap
    ~we need to learn to make our own cheese & yogurt
    ~I need to learn how to dehydrate veggies & fruits

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    Registered User dwallyfam's Avatar
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    DH can work on our vehicles
    Because of DH job he can get auto parts very cheap
    I know how to can/freeze
    I know how to bake
    I can sew
    Some renovations DH can do, some we have a friend help us for cheap
    I can butcher with no problem
    I do have a small garden - otherwise I purchase directly from the farmer to get a better price

    Would like to learn to
    knit
    crochet
    cheese making
    bath soap make

  3. #3
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    more then just being knowledgable... I can do this or that.. you also have to mentally be prepared.

    Preparing mentally still doesn't cover the reality of what could happen.

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    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brook View Post
    more then just being knowledgable... I can do this or that.. you also have to mentally be prepared.

    Preparing mentally still doesn't cover the reality of what could happen.
    This is a very important point. Most times success comes down to attitude. Understanding what could happen and being focused in your preparation will certainly help. But, in the end it come down to being able to carry the "weight". It is so easy to get discouraged and give up. A person must be able to deal with adversity and thrive under the pressure of the situation. A true test of a person is their reaction when all appears lost.

    As for skills needed, I just try to think of what we have others do for us. While I change oil and do routine maintenance, hard core work on the cars is iffy for me. I learned years ago before we had computers in them. DW and I are comfortable with vet care for the animals such as injections, wounds, administering meds. I really think that if you have confidence in yourself, you will be amazed at what you can do.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Homesteadmamma for the excellent threads. She has given us a lot to think about and enabled me to learn a whole lot.
    Last edited by fixer; 12-30-2008 at 06:34 PM.

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    Registered User old_lady_in_the_shoe's Avatar
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    We (hubby and I and children) know how to:
    raise our own animals, including breeding, and butchering
    1 rabbits
    2 chickens
    3 quail
    4 ducks
    5 hogs (do not have any currently)
    6 goats (do not have any currently)

    We can milk a goat (dd is the best and did this for 2 years, although we do not have one currently)

    We raise the poultry for eggs and can incubate for new supply

    We grow a big garden each year

    we can, dehydrate and store garden produce

    we have a small greenhouse to start seeds in and to grow lettus in the winter

    I can make butter and several types of cheese and yoghurt

    we can make lye soap and use to sell it but do not currently

    I can crochet as well as dd and dd and dh can knit on peg looms

    I can sew, but havent for 200 years, lol

    we grind all our own wheat (and other grains) but purchase it
    (i have grown a small "plot" of it to see if I could, and have read about thrashing it and have the knowledge, but maybe not the gumshin to do so)

    We make all our own bread,and such...

    We cook from scratch

    We are planting "all eatable" plants at the homestead, replacing "regular hedges" and such with berries, and such.

    I know some foraging and can identify several things now like wild blueberry, elderberry, wild grapes, morel mushrooms, cat tails,

    We can fish

    We can hunt (although we currently do not) and butcher

    WE know how (and love to) cook out of doors on a campfire, in dutch ovens and much more!

    We homeschool


    Things I need to learn:
    I have not made many candles

    we are NOT mechanical (bad with tiller, lawnmower, car and such)

    Mushrooms-identifacation for eating

    The use of soy (milk making, tofu and such)

    Herbal medicine (i have dabbled and read tons, but currently only make lip balms and salves, need to learn more)

    I need to lear to shoot a shot gun (hubby, ds and dd already do) I currently only shoot archery.

    I would love to learn how to spin and weave on a loom.

  7. #6
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    I am fortunate that dh can fix and or build things. He is currently building my greenhouse. He knows how to shoot grade (surveying). He can do all kinds of small appliance repair.

    We garden, can, dehydrate, and freeze. I bake (so does dh)

    I can make my own soap. I've made emergency candles before. I have them stored! I have made a good supply of waterproof matches.
    I have reference books for my survival/preparedness library
    We homeschool.

    We live in town so we don't have animals.

    I am learning how to save seed from heirloom varieties. I cloned cuttings last year from some hybrid plants that did great!

    I need to learn and grow more medicinal herbs.

    I don't have a gun, but I think I might want one. (I learned that the people down the street have a convicted murderer living there--oi--they have lots of visits from the local authorities due to domestic violence too)

    I do not know how to quilt, but it IS on my lists of things to learn this year for sure!

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    I think a great source of knowledge comes from good "learn how" books. If there are skills you lack (and everyone has some) its nice to have some books on the shelf that you can turn to in times of need. I have found that I get get some peace of mind having books that teach skills that I lack that I can have within my reach should I need them. Example of a few I have; readers digests Back to Basics, John Lust Herbal book, many books on how to raise different animals, breed, butcher and care for. Books for wild edible plants, a few of the Foxfire books, a Vet book for animals. I know there are more but can't think of them now.....but there are many ways to "gain" skills you feel you lack, and for me having books that SHOW you how makes me feel like I am more prepared.

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    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Good question.
    My background has given me innumerable skills. Growing up on a farm, having frugal parents and grandparents who were poor and had to make-do, belonging to 4-H for years and years: all these provided instruction and skills.

    Yet there is so much that I don't know. I have all confidence that I could make it, but I would probably bumble around with mechanical things.

    I do know how to barter and exchange, so maybe I could exchange my skills with someone else's knowledge!
    Spiritual:
    "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Please... respect life.

    Financial:
    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


  10. #9
    Registered User Jeanna's Avatar
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    Well let's see....
    My husband and son can do car repairs, tractor repairs, do electrical work, build about anything.
    We can grow our own food, can, dehydrate, make cheese & butter, grind our own flour, (although I still do it at the local food co-op as I haven't yet bought my own grinder), fish, hunt, dress out the kill. We can also dutch oven cook (my husband can make the best cobblers) and I can wildcraft pretty well.
    We can also raise pretty much any animal, do our own vet work, put up our own hay, build fence, and pretty much anything else that has to farming.
    I can sew pretty much anything. I can do basic knitting and crocheting. I quilt, embroider, and lots of other handwork.
    I think the reason we are so well learned is we were brought up this way. We have both lived in these mountains our entire lives and that was just the way it was done when we were small. A lot of people our age have gotten away from the old ways. But in the past few years I have noticed a lot of them trying to come back to the "old' way of life.
    Last edited by Jeanna; 01-03-2009 at 12:33 PM. Reason: mis-spell

  11. #10
    Registered User Minner77's Avatar
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    I
    cook from scratch
    knit
    crochet
    sew a little
    am learning to bake bread
    compost
    am good with the budget
    am generally a good steward of resources
    reduce/reuse/recycle

    I want to learn to/am learning how to
    garden
    can
    make soap
    grind our own flour
    really understand what makes a good stockpile
    get chickens
    see if there's any way on earth to get a handpump for a 320' well
    learn to shoot
    learn basic first aid


    we really should
    learn to hunt/butcher
    find an alternate income source (we're a one income family, and DH's job is in unstable industry); I want to teach online, but earned the "wrong" Master's degree -- besides, is relying on telecommunications smart?

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    This is an old thread but still relevant.

    My husband and son and build or fix pretty much anything the put their minds to.
    DH and DD sew well and can make about anything.
    DS can make or fix anything electronic. He also tunes pianos, including ours.
    We cook and bake from scratch and just bought a Country Living grain mill from another family member.
    We grow most of the food we eat and can, freeze or dehydrate it. We are vegan so don't worry about raising animals except our pets.
    We know basic first aid (I was an EMT for several years)
    We know basic hydrotherapy and other natural remedies
    I knit and DD crochets
    DH and DS shoot guns but DD and I are afraid of them. I would like to know how to in case I need to.
    DS and I built a small greenhouse a couple of years ago for starting seedlings. He built a mister system for rooting cuttings also.

    Our most recent project was to grow field corn, make hominy, grind it and make fresh corn tortillas. Delicious!! DS is the expert so we all need to learn from him. We grew two patches of field corn this summer. It's been so cool and rainy that it has been growing 120 days and is still not ready to pick.


    Things we are working on:

    Learning about and trying wild edible plants
    Making herbal salves, etc.
    Cooking on a wood stove or outdoor fire
    Saving vegetable and flower seeds ( we do some and want to try others)
    Setting up a barrel composter and making enough compost to actually use
    Building an alternative energy source. We are thinking about a water wheel

    I hope some others will chime in here and keep this thread going. I enjoyed reading everyone's ideas, so far.

    Blessings,
    daylily

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    Registered User Minner77's Avatar
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    Wow, daylily, you really have it together! Truly inspiring!

    ~Mary

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    Well, collectively as a family we can do a lot but I am lost when it comes to mechanical stuff, carpentry, etc. I need to learn some basic repair skills

    I got a really good book from the library called "Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond. It says "868 practical formulas, simple solutions for less toxic living" It has "recipes" for cleaners, body creams and lotions, basic salve formula, basic tincture formula, laundry products, disinfectants, hair care, baby care, lawn and garden care, plant stains and dyes, art supplies, kid's projects and more. I want to get this book soon and try some of the recipes.

  15. #14
    Registered User Minner77's Avatar
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    I would love to do more, but in a sense my DH won't "let" me. While he agrees with the need for sustainable living, he thinks I overreact in many regards. He never actually laughs at me, but when it comes to spending money he questions me, and he pays the bills so there's no "sneaking" anything by him!

    Besides that, I just can never seem to remember all I read. I read and read and read, but can never put it all together. (Give me grammar and I can pick out the nuances -- picky stuff, yes! I can do that, but the substantial stuff that could truly make a difference? Yikes!) It's so frustrating. I'm well-educated, but sometimes I think in the wrong things!

    ~M

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    I'm kind of the same way. It is rather frustrating

    I've been thinking about picking out one little thing to learn, like putting fluids in the car and working on that. My problem is that I have to write down the instructions and refer to them as I do it. This just pertains to "scary" stuff like cars and other mechanical things, building, etc. Not things I am comfortable with like cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc.

    I try to get DH to give me a step-by-step so I can write it down and he says "It's easy! You don't need to write it down! You could have it done in the time it would take you to write it down!" So he proceeds to tell me, I panic because I'm afraid I will do something bad to the car or hurt myself, I don't retain what he is saying and end up still not knowing how to do the thing. And he can't understand why I don't "just do it"! My daughter bought me a book called something like Women's Guide to Household Repairs that lays out a repair job step-by-step. I think when the harvest season is over and I have more time, I will study the book and "do the lessons". I learn by reading, not by listening

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